Well, seems that first reviews of the re-make of the science fiction classic The Day The Earth Stood Still are now in. Or at least one blogger claims they are:
Anotherkindofclay says that (he/she) has seen the movie ten days before its release and -
You can read AKC’s entire entry here
You know, I wanted to give the remake an honest shot. Maybe the remake would have been worth doing. Maybe I’d have been happy to sit down on a lazy afternoon to a four-hour mini-marathon of TDTESS-O followed by TDTESS-R, devoting numerous useless hours to fun and funny comparisons of the actors, the plots and the effects but -
if AKC’s claims about the film are anything like close to accurate (and I have no reason to believe otherwise) – tain’t gonna happen.
All I needed to read was the opening paragraph of the commentary: “I could list, if pressured by Gort, a hundred reasons why the 1951-version of The Day The Earth Stood Still deserves its classic status, but I’ll dedicate this post to some of the hundred reasons why the remake that has an imminent world premiere falls not only short of the original, but falls extremely painfully short, with broken limbs and a smashed skull to show for its toils.”
Wow. It can’t even stand on its own two feet, let alone get a lift from the original.
But then AKC says this: “The first problem I have with the remake is that it uses so much of its running time to get to the point. First we have a kind of prologue, which shows us a mountain climber, played by Keanu Reeves, encountering a giant orb-like object in the Himalayas (?) The entire sequence is accompanied by the fakest looking snow I can recall having seen since the more claustrophobic second rate studio pictures of the forties. As it turns out, this sequence has no real bearing on the rest of the film, apart from trying to over-explain some points mentioned later anyway.”
We see the Klaatu character as an Earthman before anything actually happens!?!
This is so wrong on so many levels I can’t even begin to think of where to start! Ok, here goes: if you buy the movie-as-Christ-parable (which I don’t – in fact I believe quite the opposite – the seeming relationship to such is done in by Michael Rennie’s dismissal of it when he finds the ‘Carpenter’ nametag inside the jacket he appropriated: the filmmakers were saying – yes, we know some people will go down this wrong path, so here’s a BIG sign that says ‘red herring!’) showing Reeves/Klaatu as a normal human being and not a ‘being descended from the heavens’ you’ve just eviscerated one of your theme’s major points.
If you forget the biblical parabalizing and just go for the story – showing Klaatu as a mountain climber lends a lie to any future claims of alien connection – and alien powers – including the centrally crucial power of being able to give meaning to his words. Instead of watching in fear and wonder as the specter of Clarkeian technologies unfolds in front of us – a power that if it exists exceeds anything in mankind’s experience, something that we have every right to fear – we’re left to wonder if Reeves isn’t just some kind of clever conman – or a consumate poker player running the bluff of his life.
To put it more simply – I would be far more afraid and respectful of an alien who claims to have the power to destroy my planet than I would be of any human being making the same claim – whether they work at Dietrich or not.
I need not go any further – the filmmakers have supposedly destroyed a key element of the film right at the beginning.
The only other thing I’ll mention is AKC’s mention of the SFX: apparently Gort dissolves into thousands of tiny little (robotic?) insects. THIS is the ‘new’ Gort that will make our mouths fall open in wonder?
I’m still gonna go and watch it – just like I’m still going to be watching the original on December 10th – which is, of course, The Day The Earth Stood Still To Watch The Original Movie Day!